THE WELSH CROPS.I

published: 13th September 1918

http://newspapers.library.wales/view/3414374/3414376/17/

people: Cardiganshire

locations: England

organizations: Ireland

THE WELSH CROPS. I Considerable progress has been made with the corn harvest in Wales despite the dull weather of last week. Anglesey report says that over 50 per cent, of the corn is out, although only a very small proportion so far has been carted. Oats in particular are good; the crop. however, is much laid. Wheat has done well and barley will be fair. A good deal of corn was cut and stacked in mid-Wales in the latter part of last week, but the work was considerably hampered by layer- ing which made the use of our mechanical power d-fficult, a good deal of corn having to be cut one way. Farmers have greatly appreciated ,the self-binders which have been of immense assist- lanoo in saving the corn crops. In Montgomery and Cardigan the rain has beaten down the crops rather badly and the scythe will have to be freely" used on the remain- der of the harvest. A good deal of corn has been stacked in the Severn Valley of Montgomery and a little in some of the earlier districts of Cardiganshire, but taking the two counties as a whole scarcely one-fourth of the crop had been secured at the week-end. "There are extraordinarily heavy crops of wheat to be seen in some districts and many farmed are estimating the yields of these part- icular fields at over 6 quarters to acre; taking the wheat crop as a whole it is now certain that the yield will be well over the average." Bar- ley crop. is also very heavy in most districts; but the oat crop will not. it is feared, be up to the average although probably very near it.. Whilst doing no noticeable damage to the corn the recent rains great'y improved the pastures and aftermaths, which are now grow'ng at a very rapid rate so that the prospects for autumn and winter are excellent. There is disease in the potatoes in a large number of districts, al- thr>ii £ fh as a rule the attacks are not verv severe A little hay is still out on some of the hills, but speaking generally the hay harvest is now over. THE STATE AND THE SMALL GROWER. What the Government is doing for the allot- ment Holder Before the war the State concerned itself \ery little, about the small grower, and particularly about the allotment holdet True, Small-hold- ings Acts were passed but their range was com- parat v-ly I m'ted and it cannot be sa d that they had any large bearing either on the land settle- ment problem or the twin question of increased food production. The war has brought changes in the relation of the State and the small grower that would have been incredible a brief four years ago. In the first place, the State has supplied in most cases, by friendly representation, but where necessary by strong pressure hundreds, of thousands of would- be allotment holders with land that other- wise they would not have got The State has given them guarantees for a certain security of tenure. It has made special arrangements for the protec- tion of their crops—arrangements of so drastic a character that the non-allotment holder is almost afraid to look over an allotment fence at the other man's onions in case he would there- by incur the disfavour of the D.O.R.A. One cannot cultivate without tools: and the State has given priority to the manufacture of tools fr the allotment-holders. To grow crops one requires seed; and when the allotment boom began there was an acute danger of a seed shortage. Accordingly the State imported large quant ties of seeds from abroad and arranged with the trade to supply them to the small, grower on a reasonable basis of profit and in suitable quantities. The trade being unable to sat'sfy he requirements of many allotment hold ers two years ago in the matter of seed potatoes the State bought to the extent of hundreds of tons in Scotland and Ireland, and co-operating I with local authorities and various societies, de- I, livered them at moderate prices to the little men in the least of villages, as in the largest towns. Thus the special pressure on the trade was tided over and as a result there was a record planting of potatoes in England and Wales by the amateur as well as by the professional. Now that the allotment movement has got into its stride and the equilibrium of the trade has been restored, the State is ceasing to supply or- dinary seed potatoes and is devoting itself to secure a supply of wart-immune varieties in in- fected areas where it is use full or dangerous as well as illegal to plant non-immune varieties. So that the allotment man no less than the farmer should be sure that the seed he bought was good the Statevset up a seed test:ng station. So that he should kntow how to grow the seed after they had bought it. the State in con- junction wtlth the Royal Horticultural Society organised a panel of about two thousand expert eardeners all over the country, who were, willing to give advice on practical demonstra- tion in food growing, free of charg-e. Moreover. acting through the Food Production Department of the Board of Agriculture, the State has issued millions of leaflets on cultural subjects: and it now "'ssues weekly instruct- on to a'lotrnent bold- ers prepared hv thr^e of the moit {^rnrn^.ver"4-- able growers in the country. These leaflets iy)1 this printed instruction are free to all on ap- J pPcat-'on. State arrangements enable you to spray your potatoes or your fruit0 trees with standard mach- ines and standard chemicals through the trade at a fixed price. State aided marketing schemes j'